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Englewood, Chatham, Auburn Gresham

After School Supplies For South Side Kids Stolen, Chicagoans Donate Tablets, Headphones And More: ‘I’m So Thankful’

A trailer full of school supplies for a Saturday back-to-school giveaway was ransacked Thursday. But within 24 hours, Chicagoans donated so many supplies that the event will go on as planned.

Tamar Manasseh of MASK in a pop-up classroom on 74th and Stewart. Donated school supplies were stolen from the trailer Thursday, but Chicago stepped up to help.
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ENGLEWOOD — Hours after learning someone stole tablets and other school supplies for an Englewood back-to-school giveaway, people from all over the city pitched in to help.

Now Chicago Public Schools students in the area will be able to get the supplies and equipment they need Saturday, just as organizers originally planned.

Mothers Against Senseless Killings (M.A.S.K) founder Tamar Manasseh had been in Memphis building a homeless shelter for teens before returning to M.A.S.K. headquarters, 7400 S. Stewart Ave., Thursday to see a trailer full of donated school supplies ransacked.

After she posted about the theft on social media and Block Club reported on it, she experienced an outpouring of support from across the city.

Within hours, Chicagoans had purchased all 60 tablets on M.A.S.K’s Amazon wishlist. Manasseh updated the list after more people reached out wanting to help, and said she’ll give any extra tablets to students in need.

“Today could’ve been a terrible day,” she wrote late Thursday. “But all of our friends, supporters and even strangers, stepped up and made sure it wasn’t. I am humbled by your massive outpouring of love and support. We literally could not do it without you! Thank you all, so much!”

Aside from school supplies, Saturday’s event will help CPS students sign up for internet service if they don’t have it and give clothes, hygiene products and other supplies to families in need. The first day of school for CPS students is Tuesday.

“People are still coming with stuff. It’s crazy. I’m so thankful. Even the Black McDonald’s Operators Association reached out,” Manasseh said.

M.A.S.K. is still accepting donations ahead of their Saturday afternoon giveaway. People can drop them on site at the Peace Academy, 75th Street and Stewart Ave., at 11 a.m. Saturday. The giveaway will run from noon to 2 p.m.

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